April 2007

Michigan State University and USDA researchers are investigating a method to make fiberboard from processed and sterilized cow manure. The process could eventually take the place of sawdust in making fiberboard, which is used to make everything from furniture to flooring to store shelves. The scientists hope it could be part of the solution to the nation's 1.5- to 2-trillion pound annual farm waste disposal problem. As dairy and other livestock operations have grown larger, they often find themselves with too little land for the manure they produce.

As with the wood-based original, the manure-based product is made by combining fibers in the manure with a chemical resin, then subjecting the mixture to heat and pressure. So far, the fiberboard made in this manner seems to match or exceed the quality of wood-based products (SOURCE: David Goodman, Associated Press).

Rick Rasby Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science
Animal Science, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, NE